Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Watching the leaves change

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I walked to and from the Hoboken office in what forecasters said was a milder day that typical for this time of year.
I started making this walk shortly after 9/11 when someone broke into my car – a three month ordeal to get the right part and to solve other problems that the break in caused.
Once I shifted the beat to Bayonne, walking became only an option on Tuesdays, when I had to go to the Hoboken office anyway.
The big challenge has always been winter, the slick walk there and back, up and down hills. While I would say summer was no sweat, in fact, it is much more, but easier to make the climb – even with the leg I injured two years ago when I fell off a curb.
The walk feels right. Unlike the arrogant bike riders who shove people off the sidewalk, strolling there and back lets me examine the world close up in a way that cars and bicycles won’t allow – a slowed down view that I hadn’t really gotten since I stopped jogging. Even then, the world slid by too quickly to fully appreciate.
This stroll, however, also makes me more aware of how utterly the world is changing, how even over the time I’ve spent in this place, how different it is, and how much more I crave the town I grew up in, where lack of opportunity reduces the intensity for greed, and so things remain much as they were when I grew up there, although my uncle and others fled from it because they feared great change that never occurred.
I even miss my digs in Passaic, which from my brief visits there, hasn’t changed at all since I left, a time capsule of feelings I feel again each time I walk those streets.
I shall go back soon to make our the visits I need to all the people who have passed on beyond memory of any place, to Peggy’s new digs in the graveyard just over the Passaic border in Lodi, and to the family plots just down the hill from the house I grew up in.
I’m still close enough to visit them and should get as much in before I move on, not the way they have (at least not yet), but to where my daughter lives and another relatively unchanging life in that part of the world.

Meanwhile, I walk and think and listen to old tunes on an mp3 player (I used to have to carry a number of tapes) and ponder the world, watching the leaves get green and then go brown, watching the distant water flow, as the river like me, passes through a changing place is has no control over.

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